World’s Oldest-Known Person Dies at 116

Jeralean Talley, the world’s oldest-known person, died last week at the age of 116 (Source: Reuters via NAELA eBulletin). Due to advances in medicine and today’s emphasis on eating healthy foods and maintaining an active lifestyle, people are living longer than ever before. With life expectancy likely to increase further in the coming decades, there should be a renewed focus on an aspect of estate planning that is sometimes overlooked: planning for your personal care. You should definitely determine how you’d like your property and assets to be distributed following your death. Equally important, however, is putting a plan in place for your personal care in the event you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions about your finances and medical treatment on your own. This involves naming an agent to act on your behalf under a Durable Power of Attorney, setting forth your wishes regarding end-of-life care in an Advance Directive for Health Care and signing a HIPAA Authorization form so that your trustees, agents, health care proxies and family and loved ones have access to your medical records when necessary.

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